Maybe the medications are actually helping

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by muttmeister, Oct 5, 2011.

  1. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    I posted here when school first started about my grandson who just started kindergarten. He stays with me on school nights. He was having all kinds of issues and the school was considering putting him out and not accepting him for kindergarten till next year (he was just 5 on June 1; my opinion, having taught kindergarten for about 25 years was that he should wait till next year). Then son and daughter in law went to the doctor and they put him on focalin.

    So yesterday was his first parent teacher conference. The teacher says he has made a complete turn around and is doing MUCH better. I help him with homework and there are some issues: at this point he doesn't hear beginning sounds or rhyming words. Those ideas are totally foreign to him but he does go to speech and I think there is a correlation there. But anyway, his behavior is better, his attention is better, his writing is better, he is doing the work, etc. He knows his numbers, is interested in reading and writing, likes to be read to, etc. So...let's just hope it continues. I will keep working with him and hope that he can contine.

    I'm not a big fan of medications but maybe they were right and I was wrong.
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    How long has he been on the medication? If it was VERY recently, it could be the "honeymoon" that lasts a little while. If it's been a while ........ then .......... sorry to say it ........... but you are gonna have to eat some humble pie. Let me put the situation into perspective. Would you deny a kid with diabetes his insulin? He "can't help it" that he has diabetes. He won't die without the insulin (not yet anyway) but it will make his quality of life a whole lot better. Your grandson apparently has ADD/ADHD and he can't help it he has it and he needs medication (the correct ones) to give him the quality of life he deserves.

    Don't be too hard on yourself but now you see what some of us are talking about. Be glad the medication works.
  3. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    I'm not opposed to medications per se. I've seen kids that they've helped immensely. I just think they are HUGELY overprescribed.

    I know that my grandson has some other issues; I think some of them stem from daughter in law's difficult pregnancy and some of these problems have been evident since birth. He still has speech problems, he still has cognitive problems, etc. But perhaps the ADHD stems from some of the same causes and it really is being helped by the medications. If so, I'm thankful.

    When I taught, and a kid was put on medications, I was always a little skeptical because so many times we at school saw no signs of ADHD. Usually we had in inkling of what the problem might have been but we were never consulted.

    If a child is helped by medications I think that is wonderful. I was not a fan when they put my grandson on them because he is so young and because I knew of the other problems that would not be helped my the medications. I'm still not sure that is what is making the difference (there are other factors to consider) but it is worth a try and if this continues and it seems to be the medications making the difference, I'm certainly all for them.
  4. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    It's not too late to take him out of kindergarten and wait a year, is it? I would do that first. He's probably just a tad immature compared to the other kids in the class. In fact, you could ask the teacher what the average age of the other students is and I bet they're all closer to 6. I'm not a big fan of trying to control 'supposed' ADHD symptoms at such a young age, ESPECIALLY in a boy.
  5. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    No, not too late but I'm only the grandma and only taught kindergarten for over 20 years so of course I don't know anything.
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    For the record - Folacin in in the same family as Ritalin. These are all short-acting medications - out of your system the same day. So, these don't tend to have the "honeymoon" period... there's usually only 4 outcomes... medications work as expected, medications do nothing, medications produce severe reaction (possible with ANY medication), or the balance of effect vs. side-effect isn't worth it (too little effect, too much side-effect).

    Teachers not noticing ADHD? With "ADD" (they don't make the technical split any more, its now ADHD-inattentive), teachers USUALLY don't "see" it. The hyper ones are MUCH more obvious. The student who behaves well but seems a bit "slow" isn't caught as having an issue... These ones can be looking right at the teacher - and be a million miles away. We had to fight to get medications for K2... in Kindergarten. Once we did... the teacher picked my brain for hours to figure out what she had missed and why... but its really hard to detect unless you know the child well.

    ADHD is one of the most mis-diagnosed conditions. Way too many kids get this diagnosis who really have something else (or else just extreme edges of "normal")... and way too many kids who should be getting the diagnosis, get missed. That doesn't invalidate the diagnosis.

    The whole "hold him back" discussion? There's multiple angles to this. We moved ahead with early-start, then kicked ourselves for years for doing so... NOW? No regrets, because we need to be able to add an extra year NOW (slow down highschool, take 3 grades in 4 years), and difficult child isn't fighting against that because he's "peers" with both the older and the younger ones. There is no "right answer".

    And it must be even tougher to be the Grandma and not the parent, sometimes!
  7. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I held my easy child back in 2nd grade primarily due to maturity issues. EVERY kid in her grade was nearly a year older than her. It was a difficult decision to make but I've never regretted it. She made great strides, connected with her peers and did very well. I wish I had held difficult child back as well.

    I think they younger they are when you hold them back, the easier it is for them to deal with the social aspect of that decision.

    For a kindergartener? Within the first couple of months? There is virtually no impact, especially if he transitions to a nursery school setting. I wish your input had more vaslue, MM.
  8. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Great you are being open and supportive of your grandson. So nice you are a teacher too so can help him hang in there academically. My son has a neurologically based condition which results in adhd symptoms...and the ritalin worked from day one. dramatic difference. Other medications need to build, have honeymoons etc. of course as everyone has said. but the results from those medication have continued and that started at 4 and now he is 14.

    Regarding medications not fixing all of the issues, the great thing for many and certainly for us, is once you get their attention and they are able to take in information (and the same could be said if a kid was depressed or whatever and you got those issues more stable so they could begin the real work) THEN you can start to work on the other issues and are likely to have better success.

    I agree medications are scary and most people dont take it lightly. I get so frustrated when people say adults put kids on medications for their convenience. (not saying you ever said that, I mean the media) I know it is probably true that some do but for me, it is always a huge decision and balanced with his quality of life.
  9. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    Would your grandson's parents consider a neuropsychologist evaluation since you've picked up on some problem areas that may need addressed? Because I'm thinking if you've seen some possible issues with your "untrained" but experienced eyes, then probably a neuropsychologist is going to find some problem areas that would likely improve at this stage if caught and addressed properly.

    I have nothing against medications, but I do agree they're over prescribed. And it makes me even more uncomfortable that they were prescribed without a thorough evaluation being done to see where the problem(s) truly are.

    I personally believe many learning disabilities are missed this way, among other things.

    They first started the Travis has ADHD crusade when he was in 2nd grade. He'd just sit and stare at homework (no matter what you did or didn't do) for hours and do nothing. It was an accomplishment if he got his name on the paper. Years down the road and many homework wars later, we discovered this is a quirk of his brain damage. Too much information presented to him at once cause brain overload. He couldn't figure out where to start and how to proceed from there. Less info on the page (they blew the homework up to outrageous type size which spaced it out) and he did just fine, sat down, started up ok without an issue. No ADHD. But a problem (one of many) that was missed simply because everyone had focused in one area. Travis is far too complicated to focus in only one area for anything.

    I always worry when medications are the first thing they want to try. I don't think it's fair to the child, and the risk of missing what should be "obvious" is high, higher once they're on the medications.

    I'm glad it appears to be working for your grandson. I hope it continues. But I wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't.